“In Korea in those days, newborn girls were not deemed important enough to be graced with formal names, but were instead given nicknames, which often reflected the parents’ feelings on the birth of a daughter: I knew a girl named Anger, and another called Pity. As for me, my paren
In Brennert's story, a young Korean girl named "Regret" begins her first lesson in a woman's control over her own life when her mother shows her...more
Indeed, I did enjoy it. Honolulu is a fictionalized historic romantic tale of a Korean woman who comes to Honolulu in 1914 as a “picture bride” (equivalent of a mail-order bride) to escape her life as a seco...more
The book taught us something about Korean traditions at the start of the 20th century and about the influence of Imperial Japan on Koreans at that time. It also taught us about the Asian immigrants to Hawaii and their economic motivations.
Although I think that the murde...more
"In Korea in those days, newborn girls were not deemed important enough to be graced with formal names, but were instead given nicknames, which often reflected the parents' feelings on the birth of a daughter: I knew a gir...more
The Confucian ideals seem old-fashioned and very conservative, "T...more
The 1920’s and 1930’s in Hawaii were known as the “Glamour Days”. Yet, Honolulu does an excellent job portraying the dark side of those days. Although Hawaii was...more
Brennert has a fantastic voice, reminding me of the only other man I've ever read who coul...more
This is a historical novel which runs from about 1916 until the 1950’s, with the major part of the book focusing on the ‘20’s and ‘30’s. This book starts about where Michener’s “Hawaii” left off, but here we’re only dealing with Honolulu. The narrator of the book is Korean. Faced with having to give in to an arranged marriage and to not being allowed to go to school because she was a girl, sh...more
Men from Korea, Japan, China, and Okinawa went in droves to Hawaii in the early 20th century with promises paradise and the riches to be made there. Instead, they found themselves working under very difficult conditions for very little pay on plantations. They struck up a k...more
Regret is the daughter of a Korean family and is unvalued because she is female. She is belittled constantly by her father and feels unwanted in her own home. When she expresses a desire to learn how to read and write, her father hits her telling her she needs to learn her place. However, due to an aunt in another town she is taught how to read by Evening Rose, a kissaen (a type of entertainer of men).
Ok-2 days of being sick and either bed or couch bound provided me with ample opportunity to finish this long tale in such a...more
"Honlulu" did a fine job depicting life for the immigrant and native born Hawaiians--the joys and the sorrows. Despite the years that have passed since those documented in the book, disparities still exist between haoles and kama'ainas, unfortunately. Hawai'i celebrated it's 50th anniversary into statehood yesterday to negligible fanfare by residents. At the time, locals had to vote fo...more
This is very well written, but I did find problems with the pa...more